One of the bond questions seeks to use $1.2 million to fix the turf field at Scarborough High School in need of extensive repair. Courtesy/News Center Maine

SCARBOROUGH — Town councilors on Sept. 4 gave final approval to three bond proposals totaling $4.4 million, all of which will head to referendum Nov. 5.

If approved, $2.5 million would go to the Scarborough Land Trust reserve fund, $1.2 million would be used to repair the turf field at the high school and $660,000 would replace a 31-year-old Fire Department pumper truck.

The land trust fund, which has a balance of just $270, was effectively emptied July 10 for the Blue Point Preserve Campaign, a conservation project to make land available for walking trails and access to Scarborough Marsh. Councilors voted 5-2 to send the bond to voters.

Including interest paid over the life of the proposed 20-year bond, estimated at just less than $569,375, debt service for the land trust fund could reach almost $1.6 million.

According to Rick Shinay, trust president, it took 18 years for the land trust to spend $5 million previously awarded to them through a referendum. Since 2004, the land trust has spent just over $3.4 million to acquire 725 acres of land. The July 17 Blue Point purchase adds to six public access preserves in town.

“I see this as a way to set up an equity line for the future use of the town in preserving land,” Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina, who voted in favor of the bond, said at the meeting.

Councilor Katey Foley agreed, saying that land conservation is one of the best economic engines the town has for the future.

Director of Community Services Tom Souza asked the council Wednesday for $1.2 million for turf field renovations. The field, already in need of repairs, was vandalized July 2 by a truck that drove onto the field and caused almost $22,000 in damage.

The council approved the $1.2 million bond question 5-2.

On Aug. 27, councilors turned down his request for $1.6 million, $600,000 more than what was designated in the town budget.

Town Manager Tom Hall said Wednesday more funding may be needed for any unforeseen needs that come up during the process.

He said the initial estimate of $1 million to fix the field was inadequate, and several vendors, such as Field Turf USA, Sprinturf, AstroTurf and Turf Prep had higher estimates after inspecting the site.

Councilor Don Hamill, who voted against additional funding for the turf field, said he wouldn’t vote in favor of a revised motion without evidence that it was necessary.

Caterina, voting in favor, said she would have approved $1.6 million at the last meeting because the decision was ultimately “up to the voters.”

Including interest paid over the life of the proposed 15-year bond for the pumper truck purchase, estimated at just less than $283,250, debt service may reach almost $943,2500 if approved at the polls.

The council vote on the firetruck bond was unanimous.

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